Alastair Sooke champions pop art as one of the most important art forms of the 20th century, peeling back pop's frothy, ironic surface to reveal an art style full of subversive wit and radical ideas. In charting its story, Alastair brings a fresh eye to the work of pop art superstars Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein and tracks down pop's pioneers, from American artists like James Rosenquist, Claes Oldenburg and Ed Ruscha to British godfathers Peter Blake and Allen Jones. Alastair also explores how pop's fascination with celebrity, advertising and the mass media was part of a global art movement, and he travels to China to discover how a new generation of artists are reinventing pop art's satirical, political edge for the 21st century.
Widely considered Britain's most popular artist, David Hockney is a global sensation with exhibitions in London, New York, Paris and beyond, attracting millions of visitors worldwide. Now entering his ninth decade, Hockney shows absolutely no evidence of slowing down or losing his trademark boldness. Featuring intimate and in-depth interviews with Hockney himself, this revealing documentary captures the voice of the artist over five years and focuses on two of his blockbuster exhibitions.
Salvador Dali was art's greatest clown, but was he also one of its great geniuses? Journalist Alastair Sooke traces the life and work of the popular surrealist artist travelling throughout Europe and America. From his origins in turn of the century Spain, to his high jinx in New York in the 1970s, Sook reveals this artist's fascinating life story and explains the thinking behind and impact of his most famous works. Talking to Dali fans from Mighty Boosh comedian Noel Fielding to contemporary artist Jeff Koons, Sooke reveals the pervading influence of Dali and his brand of surrealism. Featuring testimonies from film giant Alfred Hitchcock and excerpts from the film Dali made with Walt Disney, Destino, as well as looking at contemporary advertising, this programme shows how the hand of Dali has touched almost every aspect of popular culture.
Auguste Rodin followed his intuition and was inspired as well by the relationships with his models. Behind each of his works there was either a scandal or a controversy. He left us "The Thinker" and "The Kiss", two of the most famous sculptures in the world. Here is his story.
The life of Pablo Picasso is an exciting story of rebellion, riches, women and great art. In this episode of a four-part series dedicated to Modern Art, journalist Alastair Sooke travels through France, Spain and the US to see some of the artist's great works and recount tales from his life story. Talking to architects, fashion experts and artists, he investigates how Picasso's influence, particularly that of his Cubist work, continues to pervade modern life today, in the shape of buildings, interior design, clothes and of course contemporary art. Tracking down former Picasso model Sylvette David to her current home in Britain, he also hears how Picasso's images of her inspired the look of screen siren Brigitte Bardot.
In 2013, all of Norway celebrated the 150th anniversary of the birth of Edvard Munch, one of the towering figures of modern art. It was hailed a 'once-in-a-lifetime show'. This film goes behind the scenes to show the process of putting the exhibition together, as well as providing an in-depth biography of a man who lived from the mid-19th century right through to the German occupation of Norway in the Second World War.